We have heard a call to Restorative Justice and we have answered: “We’re on board!”
The NYC DOE is piloting a new Restorative Justice initiative in 15 lucky schools, and The Leadership Program is excited to be part of the cohort of dedicated and passionate facilitators that will bring this program to the schools.
As this presidential election year advances, we are likely to hear more about the school-to-prison pipeline and the failures of zero-tolerance discipline policies that start at the school level. Restorative Justice is a promising alternative to these outdated discipline policies. It is based on respect for all, building and restoring relationships, inclusion, taking responsibility for self, and repairing harm, rather than on punishment. Implementing Restorative Justice practices school-wide has been shown to be successful in reducing school suspensions—that first step on the school-to-prison pipeline mentioned above—as well as in improving teacher/student relationships, student attendance, and even grades and graduation rates.
We are looking forward to building strong relationships with the staff, students, and families of our partner schools, and helping them to develop more positive school cultures.